Core Message (Compass – Finances God’s Way)
Compass – Finances God’s Way Core Message page is a great reference for biblical financial principles.
Have you ever walked outside the front door of your house and looked over to see your dream car sitting in your neighbor’s driveway? Or, maybe you visited a friends house and saw something you really wanted?
How did you feel? Were you discontent? Perhaps a bit empty without it? Maybe the feeling was so strong you took a trip to the car dealership, or a mall, and without any delay, made the purchase?
I think its fair to say we’ve all been there. Would you agree someone close to us is always crossing our paths with something we currently or have desired in the past. Discontentment is a natural feeling.
When I graduated school and moved away from home I was quite content with the car that my parents had purchased for me. I celebrated it and was so happy to have it. Soon after I met new friends and saw the cars they were driving. I felt discontentment and simply had to have a new car for myself.
I still wrestle with that same feeling of discontentment today as my car approaches 120,000 miles. There are plenty of nice new cars in our neighborhood that I’m sure I would enjoy driving.
My example isn’t uncommon. It’s not natural to be content, but it can be learned and in doing so, we can connect closer to God and experience peace in our lives.
Check out what Paul says in Philippians 4: 11-13 about learning contentment:
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4: 11-13 (NIV)
I could have avoided my new car purchase by not comparing myself to others or letting my wants take me to the car dealership. I could have continued driving me existing car and saved enough money to pay cash for a new car. I certainly could have avoided car debt if I had been more focused on my own situation and less concerned about what those around me were driving.
The world often influences our purchasing decisions against what is in our best interest and God’s desire for us to experience financial freedom. It is possible to ignore these wants and desires. There are practical ways to do that like avoiding shopping for entertainment, or celebrating what others have versus being jealous of them.
If we allow ourselves to be conformed to what the world, or even our friends, might be telling us we need, we’ll be discontent with everything. We’ll never have enough. The race to have enough simply can’t be won. I’ve found that it’s a race not worth running (chasing after the Joneses) because it only results in frustration and exhaustion.
Contentment, as described in Philippians, is being satisfied with God as the provider and owner of all we need and believing what we have is enough. Perhaps, a step in the right direction is to focus on Christ alone and to be thankful with everything we have been provided today.
How are your learning to be content in what God has provided you?
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